Monday, January 31, 2022


I have always reckoned myself among the greatest admirers of Mozart, and shall do so till the day of my death.
~Ludwig van Beethoven

Mozart's birthday was January 27th, and it made me think about back when I first started listening to classical music. Vivaldi's Four Seasons was the first classical recording that I listened to over and over, but then came an enormous collection of Mozart's works. Here are some that you are likely to recognize:

Friday, January 28, 2022

How are we doing?

Experience has also taught me this, that we undo ourselves by impatience.
~Michel de Montaigne

Hello! Happy Poetry Friday! Sorry to be a bit late :) I didn't have a post ready, so I decided to find a poem about "patience" since that was Irene's theme today. Here's what I came up with:

by Nancy Miller Gomez

The man working window eleven
at the DMV wears his name around his neck
like a medal won in a war
he never signed up for. Even from here,

three people back, I can see
Frank is having a bad day.
He keeps tapping the same key, hoping
the computer will do something different.

Poor Frank tapping harder and harder,
pausing sometimes to stare owl-eyed
at a young woman waving her paperwork
as if she’s trying to reignite

a dying fire. Her pretty face has grown ugly...

read the rest here


Live Your Poem has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Irene!

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Night Owl on a Winter Eve Flight

Perhaps he does not want to be friends with you until he knows what you are like. With owls, it is never easy-come-easy-go.
~T.H. White, The Sword in the Stone

For Art Thursday, a painting by Cornell professor Walter King Stone (1875-1949).

Night Owl on a Winter Eve Flight, 1900
by Walter King Stone

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Burns Night

For the main course Burns' poem Address To A Haggis is read before the guests are served haggis and Scotch Whisky.
~Hana Carter

Cock-a-leekie soup in teacups? Apparently, I do whatever I please, so I don't know if you should be taking advice from me on how to hold a Burns Night supper. Except I think you should do it however you please, too. We had ours a week early for our own convenience. I'm just sorry that more poets don't have traditional birthday meals, as I am 100% on board for more poetry celebrations.

Cock-a-leekie soup recipe
More Burns Night recipes

Elena said the Selkirk Grace:
Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it;
But we hae meat and we can eat,
And sae the Lord be thanket.
My paraphrase of it is: there are a lot of things that can go wrong in this world, so we are appreciating this particular moment of grace we find ourselves in right now.

I am very fond of Burns' "To A Mouse." Matthew's dad, who is from England, read it for us with his best Scottish accent. If you don't have someone to do it for you, this one will do the trick:

If you want a song: Ae Fond Kiss

Keeping up with the times:

Monday, January 24, 2022


One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.
~William Shakespeare

For Music Monday, Janax Pacha:

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Pieces of the puzzle

It is one of man’s curious idiosyncrasies to create difficulties for the pleasure of resolving them.
~Joseph de Maistre

Welcome! The Poetry Friday round-up is here this week!

I'm having a puzzle-ing day. Maybe most of you have tried Wordle? I've been enjoying it.

Has Cain's Jawbone come on your radar? It's a puzzle book from 1934: "To solve the puzzle, the reader must determine the correct order of the pages and also the names of the murderers and victims within the story." Two people solved it in the '30s, and one solved it last year. (There is a $1300 prize for contemporary winners. I think you need to do it by the end of the year.)

My son Dash made a puzzle short story as a homemade present for me last Christmas. If you'd like to try it, Dash's story (Jane's Cawbone) is located here. You can send me the order you think the pages go in and who you think the murderer is, and I'll let you know if you're right.

Our poem for today is Jigsaw by Rabbi Kushner:

by Rabbi Lawrence Kushner

Each lifetime is the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.
For some there are more pieces.
For others the puzzle is more difficult to assemble.

Some seem to be born with a nearly completed puzzle.
And so it goes.
Souls going this way and that.
Trying to assemble the myriad parts.

But know this. No one has within themselves
All the pieces to their puzzle.
Like before the days when they used to seal
jigsaw puzzles in cellophane. Insuring that
All the pieces were there.

Everyone carries with them at least one and probably
Many pieces to someone else's puzzle....

read the rest here


Time for your links!

La tarantella

...Of the clap
Of the hands to the swirl and the twirl
Of the girl gone chancing,
Backing and advancing,
Snapping of the clapper to the spin
Out and in--
And the ting, tong, tang of the guitar!
from Tarantella by Hilaire Belloc

A bit of dancing fun by Léon Perrault for Art Thursday:

La tarantella dance (1879)
by Léon Perrault

In case you'd like to see and hear it in action:

Monday, January 17, 2022

Heaven, Wait

The name Ghostly Kisses was inspired from reading William Faulkner’s poem Une ballade des dames perdues and seemed like the perfect reflection of [Margaux Sauvé's] ethereal voice.
~GK's website

For Music Monday, Ghostly Kisses:

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Odes and Couplets

Teaching creates all other professions.

Two possible mentor poems today. Teachers deserve lots of odes, don't you think?

excerpt from
Ode to Teachers
By Pat Mora

...“I'm listening,” you encourage us.
“Come on!
Join our conversation,
let us hear your neon certainties,
thorny doubts, tangled angers”...

Isn't "neon certainties, thorny doubts, tangled angers" a great way to describe what a teacher might elicit? What sort of things would you like to hear from students, teachers, friends, lovers, poets, others? Read the rest of Mora's poem here.


This second mentor poem by Marilyn Singer is pretty self-explanatory: write a rhyming couplet about an animal. Mine are below.

By Marilyn Singer

Hugging you takes some practice.
So I'll start out with a cactus.


I like that you are predisposed
To hold still and strike a pose.


On the other hand, I don't have any photos of the belted kingfisher...

No Photographs, Please

The kingfisher is kind of rough--
He flies away, says to get stuffed.


A(nother) Year of Reading has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Mary Lee!

Overlooked ornamentals

It is better to be looked over than overlooked.
~Mae West

I know there are gardeners out there who are saying, "ornamental grasses aren't overlooked!" but I am just speaking about myself. Flowers have been my focus and I never really took a good look at the grasses. But aren't they something? (I don't know a lot about them, so if any of these are invasive and a terrible hassle, mea culpa.)

Foxtail fountain grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides)
photo by Schnobby

Winter Miscanthus, Southern Ontario, Canada
photo by M. Rehemtulla for QUOI Media Group

Cenchrus purpurascens spikelet, Australia
photo by Harry Rose

Zebra grass (Miscanthus sinensis 'Strictus')
photo by Schnobby

Crimson fountaingrass (Pennisetum setaceum)
photo by Dinesh Valke

Pampa grass inflorescences (Cortaderia selloana), France
photo by JLPC

Monday, January 10, 2022


Take a music-bath once or twice a week for a few seasons, and you will find that it is to the soul what the water-bath is to the body.
~Oliver Wendell Holmes

For Music Monday, Impossible by Nothing but Thieves (Orchestral Version):

Thursday, January 6, 2022

Singing along with Emmylou

I was washing dishes at the Greyhound bus station at the time and I said, 'Awap bop a lup bop a wop bam boom!'
~Little Richard

My One Little Word for this year is "generosity," focusing on generosity of spirit and abundance, and I am trying to start out with an abundance of gratitude. My only resolution was to keep a gratitude journal again (I did it in 2020 from Jan-October, when I put it aside rather vigorously.) I'm not very many days in, but so far so good :) The other day, I included "doing dishes" in my gratitude journal because, as much time as I spent doing them, I figured they had better make the list. If I had thought about this poem, it would have been especially appropriate:

excerpt from
Ode To Singing Along To Emmylou Harris Loudly While Washing Dishes
by John Paul Davis

I can’t bend the oak of my baritone
into any shape that even motions
like her cosmic cracked soprano
& I don’t care. the rooms of my heart
the spun gold of Emmylou’s singular
& plaintive instrument bless
my evening. My spirit has soapy
hands & abundant life,
my spirit knows heartache
& yearning. It had bled & wept
& she knows, she knows it all.

read the whole thing here

This might be a good mentor poem: "Ode to Singing Along to _________ While __________."


Happy Birthday to Ariana! She is having a Van Gogh-themed birthday this year. You might remember the Frida Kahlo b'day (such a pretty one!).

Beyond Literacy Link has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Carol!


[Silence] is when we hear inwardly, sound when we hear outwardly.
~Henry David Thoreau

For the first Art Thursday of 2022, a woodblock print by Wharton Esherick that captures the starkness and quiet beauty of the season:

by Wharton Esherick

Wednesday, January 5, 2022


On the benches, on the sidelines
Wallflowers, this is our time
~Jukebox the Ghost

For your viewing/listening pleasure, a birdcam and Jukebox the Ghost:

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Poetry Activities

He who draws noble delights from sentiments of poetry is a true poet, though he has never written a line in all his life.
~George Sand

I think it's true that you don't have to write poetry to have a poet's heart. Everyone can enjoy poems. Here are some (possibly unexpected) ways to engage with poetry:

Fictional Characters' Favorite Poems
March Madness Poetry Tournaments
Poem Ornaments
Poetry Binder Dividers
Poetry Hunts
Printable Zines and a template
Robert Burns' Birthday

At-Home Activities with Kids